Preliminary Draft Environmental Assessment for
Crater Lake Master Plan
I. Statement of the Problem
Among the issues to be addressed in the assessment are the following:
D. Campground-Trailer Park Development
Although overall visitation to Crater Lake National Park has remained fairly stable since 1970 (534,962 visitors in 1970 vs. 525,030 in 1974), the number of visitors utilizing vehicular campers and/or trailers has increased significantly–now comprising over 50 percent of the total visitor load. Roughly, 65 percent of the visitors remain in the park less than 4 hours; 20 percent stay 4 to 8 hours; and 15 percent remain in the park overnight. Only about 5 percent of all visitors stay 2 or more nights.
Currently, there are three campgrounds in the park providing a total of 264 campsites. Mazama Campground is the largest with 198 developed sites. It has limited trailer/camper facilities. Rim Campground with 54 sites proximal to Rim Village receives the heaviest active use. Lost Creek Campground provides 12 primitive campsites in the more remote southeastern section of the park and receives relatively limited use throughout most of the visitor season.
Several years ago plans were formulated for a major expansion of the Mazama campground in the form of a 350-site campground designed primarily for trailers and self-contained recreational vehicles. These plans were partially implemented with the construction of a suitable sewage treatment system (settling lagoon) and the rerouting of approximately 1.2 miles of park road. Primary sewer lines and waterlines of adequate size with stub-outs were also provided.
Demand for camper space, primarily for the more sophisticated trailer and/or recreational vehicles, has increased at a faster rate than total visitation. Completion of the additional Mazama unit would more than double the number of overnight spaces available within the park.
In addition, the previous master-plan draft also explored the feasibility of expanding the Lost Creek campground. Other recommendations have included obliterating it or converting it to day use.
Based on existing and projected park uses, the advisability of completing these projects as well as all other viable alternatives must be considered in the assessment.